Personal DevelopmentSpirituality

The Enlightenment Trap

Spiritual EgoBy Steve Clayton

Have you ever found yourself correcting someone when they are talking about enlightenment or, more specifically, their own journey towards enlightenment?

Do the words you speak come across as being in quotation marks, or do you use quotation marks every time you write something?

Do you find yourself wondering if you just came across as sanctimonious or condescending when you were certain you were just trying to help?

I have found myself guilty of all of the above because, yes, I am only human. I am not perfect nor do I put expectations on myself to be perfect. (Who needs that kind of pressure whether inflicted upon one’s self externally or internally?) But I do strive to do ‘better’.

The above examples are good clues that, despite your best intentions, your ego has entered the game and you may have been caught in The Enlightenment Trap. I have used the excuse “I’m just trying to help”, but am I really helping when I am correcting a perceived wrong or when I am pontificating? I think not.

Our egos are part of us and they are here for the duration, so the trick is to not allow them to run roughshod over our spiritual side. The E. T. can catch us in any ways, one of which is evident in many modalities where the term ‘master’ has replaced ‘teacher’. We can justify this twenty ways to Sunday but, beneath it all, we all know the connotations of the word ‘master’. Inequality of some kind goes hand-in-hand with those connotations. It is my belief that I should be a guide, not a master, not even a teacher. I am here to be a sounding board, to provide a helpful exchange of ideas and/or feelings on various subjects.

Another E. T. is not admitting when you do not know something. To do so is not a sin. Admitting it and then going to find the answer helps you as well as others. The beauty of the internet is that we have instant communication those who are following the same path, and they can help us on our search. The key word is help. To become enlightened is something we have to do for ourselves; no one can do it for us, nor can we do it for others. They must do it for themselves.

When it comes down to it, we are not learning anything. We are only remembering; remembering who we truly are. That is one trip down memory lane that is worth taking.

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